Well, shit. This is not good news. The long-gestating sequel to 1988’s BEETLEJUICE is now officially dead in the water. No less a personage than Tim Burton has gone on record stating that, in regards to the proposed film, “Nothing, nothing. I don’t know. I doubt it.” That’s what he told USA TODAY. And if Tim Burton says it isn’t likely to happen, then it isn’t likely to happen. The movie has been shelved. The real question, to me, is, why? We’re talking about a movie guaranteed to make bank. Big time. Why would they *not* do it?
Beetlejuice himself has called the movie bearing his name “lightning in a bottle.” According to Larry Wilson, co-screenwriter of the original film: “The bottom line is, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton are not going to think about a…sequel unless it somehow catches the energy of the first film. And that’s not easy…there’s a level of integrity here.” Integrity is good. But is it really so impossible to get a good script for a sequel?
Fact is, neither Burton nor Keaton need the money. Michael Keaton even took a sabbatical from making movies for years. He only came back because he wanted to.
Is there no hope at all? There is a little. It will depend, I think, on just how successful that new Broadway musical version of BEETLEJUICE proves to be. If it makes a lot of money, that won’t matter to Burton or Keaton, but it will matter to the suits in the offices, and it might spur them to get their asses in gear and find a good writer to deliver a script they can use to woo the actor and director. So go see that Broadway show!